Meet the Team

wendy

Wendy, Chief Executive Officer

Originally from the Netherlands, Wendy immigrated to New Zealand with her family as a child and is now very much a 'kiwi'. With more than twenty years’ experience in senior management roles in leisure and corporate travel, Wendy is particularly passionate about inspiring positive culture in the workplace. She's a graduate of the University of Canterbury, a previous board member of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand, and a current board member of the Tourism Export Council NZ. At Active Adventures, Wendy leads the talented team to excellence and is super focussed on guest experience, satisfaction and loyalty. An avid runner, Wendy has completed five full marathons and loves to hike, bike and paddle-board with her family in all the beautiful spots around Queenstown.

Staff Jon

Jon, Head of Operations

Jon grew up in Mount Maunganui a beach paradise in the south Pacific ocean, he started work in tourism at the age of 16 as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant, then got into driving Trans Africa expeditions at an early age progressing into management roles in adventure tourism based in Australia and New Zealand. Tourism has taken him to the best parts of our world- from Kisangani to El Chaltén and Oodnadatta to Vestmannaejar and a few more places in between. Jon loves stuff that works….. like - a good pair of woollen Socks, still Chainsaws, Tourism that’s is good for communities and environments, Music and festivals, Family camping trips, Hiking & Biking Trails, Landcruiser’s, BBQ's and a well-oiled team to work with– not necessarily in that order.
kasey

Kasey, Head of USA Operations & President USA

Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Billings, Montana. She graduated in 2011 as a Presidential Leadership Scholar at the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in Education. Growing up in the world of adventure travel, it was only natural for Kasey to jump into the family business. Kasey works full time at Austin Adventures as the President. This allows her to work closely with AA’s U.S. and European guides as well as tour operators worldwide.

dan

Dan, Special Projects & Founder (Austin Adventures)

Born and bred in California, Dan ignited his passion for adventure travel in 1976 as partner of a rafting company in the Pacific Northwest. His travels soon took him to Alaska, where he owned and operated a construction company. Looking for a new challenge and having experienced small group adventure travel as a guest, Dan and a partnership group bought Backcountry Tours of Bozeman, Montana in 1994. Later, he created Adventures Plus, which in 2000 officially became Austin Adventures.

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Sam, Head of International Sales & Distribution

Sam hails the small town of Feilding on the north island of New Zealand. He attended university in the south island where he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Otago followed by a Graduate Diploma in Journalism at the University of Canterbury. After five years working as a reporter for Radio New Zealand, Sam set sail for Europe where he began his foray into the travel industry as a Tour Guide. Upon returning to New Zealand he returned into the sales side of travel progressing from Sales Manager to General Management roles with international travel companies throughout New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia before moving to Queenstown at the beginning of 2021 to join Active Adventures.
Courtney

Courtney, VP of Global Marketing

Courtney grew up in Massachusetts, USA. She loved travel from a young age as she had the opportunity to explore the Grand Canyon with friends and family. In High School, she was part of an exchange program where she lived with a family in Rome, Italy. Being exposed to different cultures and people was an eye-opener. Upon receiving her undergrad, she focused her skills on marketing for travel brands. There she also went back to school and received her MBA. At her previous role to joining Active, she was lucky enough to ski in the Swiss Alps, hike up Machu Picchu and kayak around in the Fiji islands (just to name a few!). Being able to explore, meet different people and find the uniqueness that each part of the world has to offer is a dream! She currently lives in Rhode Island, is married and has 2 amazing boys.
Adrian

Adrian, Head of ICT

With a scientific background in Antarctic Geophysics and experience in tech research and development in the UK, Adrian first toured around in New Zealand in 1991, stayed for good in 2002 and has been working for Active ever since. After starting out as a New Zealand tour guide, he inevitably ended up being sucked into the office where his technical and analytical skills could be put to work in various roles over the years and is currently Head of ICT for Active. Away from the office, Adrian can be found biking, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing - enjoying all that the great New Zealand outdoors has to offer!
tracey

Tracey, Chief Financial Officer

Tracy called Wellington home for over 30 years. After 20 years of holidaying there, the lure of Queenstown finally saw her join the Active team in 2022. Given her role, it's lucky Tracy is excellent with numbers, accounting and puzzles.  She has over 25 years’ experience in accounting across many industries. Her cocktail-making and baking skills are also appreciated by the team.

Living in Singapore with her family was the start of her love for travel. Some memorable experiences have been getting stitches while camping in the Malaysian jungle, hand-feeding wild turtles scuba diving in Tahiti, and a lightning strike next to her in Costa Rica. Always keen on adventure, Tracy still has an extensive bucket list of places to explore.

Sabrina

Sabrina, Marketing Manager

Sabrina grew up in Montreal, Canada, which early in life taught her a valuable lesson about the outdoors: if you don't move, you freeze! As any respectable Canadian she learned to walk, ski and ice skate before the age of 4, and after braving 25 winters in a row she decided that enough was enough and fled to New Zealand, with a Master in Communication and Marketing in her back pocket. After a few months hiking around, she landed at Active Adventures and is now Marketing Manager, making sure all our awesome adventures get the visibility they deserve. In her free time, she hikes, climb and is venturing further and further into New Zealand's backcountry.
Staff Brian

Brian, International Agent Sales Manager

Brian grew up in Colorado Springs, where his passion for the outdoors was born. Making the most of summer and winter trips around the States, he found a love for rock climbing, skiiing, hiking and playing sport. In 2016 he moved to Melbourne, Australia to complete a Master's Degree in Sport Business. He realised that what he really wanted was to follow his passion for the outdoors, so with a quick hop, skip and a jump over the Tasman, he landed in Queenstown. It’s fair to say he landed squarely on his feet! All of this effort has been rewarded of course, by landing a dream job at Active Adventures, continuing to forge new relationships by taking good care of all our partners and agents!

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Beate, Website and Data Coordinator

Beāte is from Latvia, a small country in the Northern Europe, which is known for its beautiful forests, rich culture, and flat landscape. During her master’s studies in International Economic Relations, she managed to go on a couple of international exchange studies and later lived and worked in 4 countries. The decision to come to New Zealand came naturally after living in Canada and discovering the love towards adventuring in the mountains. While her intention was to live in New Zealand only for a year, endless outdoor opportunities and meeting her kiwi partner was the reason why she decided to call New Zealand home. When she’s not working you can find her in the mountains rock climbing, trail running, photographing, skiing, mountaineering or ice climbing. 

jack v2

Jack, Marketing Coordinator

Eternally English at heart, Jack is never far from a cup of steaming tea or from his next adventure. Hiking, biking, and riding his way around the world, and encouraging others to do the same, Jack has made travel his vocation. Since the day he was lost in the desert aged 6 in Petra - returning to his distressed parents delighted atop a police camel - he has had the travel bug. Following a Master in Aerospace Engineering and moving to the USA and Canada, and then a lengthy period backpacking around the world, Jack has joined Active Adventures in his new home of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kristie

Kristie, International Direct Sales Manager

Kristie is from the Hawkes Bay, a beautiful spot on the East Coast of the North Island well known for the sunny weather, great beaches and world-class wines – Her three favourite things! She’s spent the last 8 years living abroad in Melbourne, the Whitsundays and most recently Edinburgh while working in the Travel industry. She’s now back in New Zealand after extensive travel throughout Europe, the US and Asia and is a Travel Specialist here at Active Adventures. When she isn’t planning your trips she is planning her own, ticking off her own travel wishlist as often as possible!

Grace

Grace, Business Systems Project Manager

Grace grew up in New Zealand where she studied law at Otago University, and worked the life as a commercial lawyer for a couple of years. However her desire to travel took over pretty quickly, and she left the corporate life to explore the world, accidentally landing up in tourism with her first role as a volunteer hiking guide in Guatemala. From there she travelled and guided in Colombia, Peru and Canada, before moving into sales focussed travel roles throughout South America. A certain pandemic put a stop to some of that, but finding herself back in New Zealand and eager to keep exploring, it wasn't hard to convince her to join the team down in Queenstown. A bit of a planner and an organiser, Grace is helping us to scale our systems & processes so we're ready to take on the adventure travel world! In her spare time, she can be found exploring the many trails around Queenstown area on foot, bike or skis, and finding scenic swim spots to brave the fresh mountain waters.

brenon

Brenon, Process and Systems Manager

An example of the life-changing power of adventure, Brenon left the deep south to work a summer in Yellowstone National Park in 1993. It has been a great summer. An avid rock-climber, backcountry skier and mountaineer, he has embraced the pointy rocks of the Greater Yellowstone as home for over 25 years. Along the way, Brenon has guided tours in Yellowstone, taught young people perseverance in the mountains, and even rescued a few lucky adventurers. After working in mine reclamation and microbiology, being with Austin Adventures is the perfect way to connect the dots between his passion for exploration and a fulfilling career.

ange

Ange, Operations Coordinator and Supplier Relations

Ange spent her youth living in a small farming town in the South Island where she was introduced to the great outdoors. After training and working as a preschool teacher for 5 years she decided to retrain as an Outdoor Instructor. This led her to introduce an array of people from youth at risk to the outdoors and at times pushing their comfort zones. Ange decided she wanted to stay working in the outdoors but with a slight career change, which led her to Active Adventures. After guiding for a few years, the opportunity came up to work in the office with the operations team, where you'll find her today. When she's not coordinating trips, Ange can be found spending time in the hills, whether it's mountain biking, hiking, trail running and any event that involves a map.
Paula

Paula, Accounts Assistant

Raised in Auckland, Paula spent her early years boating, fishing or swimming at the beach. Early on, the "school of life" called her overseas where she spent years working in tourism, whilst living in Australia, Ireland, Canada, the USA and the UK before finally returning home to New Zealand. Paula worked as a Clinical Massage Therapist for 7 years before returning to tourism. In 2001 she made Queenstown her home and has been there ever since. Paula guided for Active Adventures for 3 years before settling into the Finance department. She's happiest in the outdoors either hiking, mountain biking, skiing or outside in her garden. She has travelled extensively and can't wait to visit more destinations!
Maya

Maya, Operations Planning Coordinator

Maya is from Greymouth a small town on the West Coast of New Zealand, she got the travel bug at an early age and spent the majority of the last 10 years living overseas, finally she thought it was time to return home and landed a dream job guiding for Active Adventures, after a couple of  summers on the road she hung up her boots and moved into the office.  You will find her during the weekends out on her bike or up a mountain, she still has the travel bug in her and cant wait to visit more countries .

Erika

Erika, Sr Communications Manager

Erika was raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in West Virginia and Virginia and has three profound loves in her life – her family and friends, travel, and being outdoors (followed quickly by good coffee and thick books). From an early age, Erika was always writing, reading, and spending countless hours outdoors, so it’s no surprise she heads up communications for Active Adventures. You’ll find her on the weekends exploring new trails with her husband and son, scoping out a new craft brewery, or planning her next big trip (or convincing someone else to book one). She currently lives in Rhode Island, but is always a West Virginia Mountaineer at heart.

staff jazzmin

Jazzmin, International Customer Service Manager

Jazz grew up in the Central North Island of New Zealand, moved to our capital city, Wellington (No, not Auckland!) to fast-track her study before moving to Florida, USA to pursue her passion for Travel and Tourism and further her education with the goal of 'trying something new' every day! With more than 10 years experience in the Travel industry, and travel all over the world under her belt (with plenty more to explore!) she has since moved back to New Zealand to raise her future-adventurers! 

staff stephanie

Stephanie, Partnership Marketing Manager

Stephanie was born and raised in the smallest state in the United States – Rhode Island. With an official nickname of the Ocean State and 400 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder she spent all her summers growing up down by the water. She attended Rhode Island College graduating with a degree in Marketing and Economics. While she’s resided in the same state her entire life, she has spent a lot of time traveling around the U.S. and quite a few road-trips down the east coast. She maintains an active lifestyle, keep up with her Australian Cattle Dog, Dewey. On the weekend, you’ll find her scoping out new eateries in the city and chasing live music and a cold beer in the summer. 

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Carol, Customer Service

Carol, born and raised in Montana, grew up exploring the Rocky Mountains and Canada. Through Austin Adventures she’s had the chance to visit many wonderful places, but her bucket list is still very long, and of course, it grows every time she travels somewhere new. Even after all of these years, Yellowstone is still her favorite place on earth! Working alongside her husband Dan, Carol is going on 20+ years in her role as an Adventure Travel Consultant, working with guests every day to build vacations of a lifetime. When asked her favorite things about her job, it would have to be working with both guests and operators from around the world. From that, one can learn something new every day.

adam

Adam, European Operation Manager

After moving to a new neighborhood at age five, Adam took off on his bike in search of new friends in Minnesota. More than thirty years later Adam still enjoys making friends on his bike while cycling around Europe. Adam has lived the life of a nomad, having taught English in China, managed a beach resort in Mexico, and now lives in the Netherlands with his wife since 2011, where they raise their daughter in the continued family tradition getting to know the world on the seat of a bicycle. Adam enjoys playing on local sports teams, adventure travel with the family, and continually learning new things from whichever culture he might be living or traveling in.

valerie

Valerie, Financial Controller

Valerie was born in San Diego, CA, she lived in New Jersey for 5 years, but has been in Montana since 2nd grade.  Valerie handles most aspects of accounting. She loves where she got to grow up and considers herself a Montanan. She lives in Billings with her husband and her dog.  She enjoys camping, cooking for friends, and playing board games. 

ryan

Ryan, Operation Coordinator

Ryan was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut where he learned to love running, hiking, camping, and sailing. In 2007 he moved to Billings, Montana. Shortly after moving Ryan got into rock climbing and fell in love with the mountains and trails of the Rockies. After attending the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Ryan pursued a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. He has worked as a rock climbing instructor/guide, zipline guide, college professor, and even a professional sewer. You can now find Ryan working alongside his wife Kasey running the operations of Austin Adventures.

ben

Ben, Vendor Relationships

A born world-traveler, Ben is passionate about combining education and travel, while also protecting the environment. He has worked in ecotourism ventures in Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has taken part in Climate Ride five times to help raise awareness around climate change, bike advocacy, and national park protection. Ben is also an avid hiker and thoroughly enjoys all the great trails around Missoula, Montana joined by his beloved dog, Vida, as much as possible. He has visited over 150 national parks and loves to connect travelers to amazing experiences in our national parks and public lands.  

rhet

Rhet, Operations

Rhet grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona within the family business of training thoroughbred racehorses. However, Rhet greatly preferred taking long hikes in the desert looking for javelina or quail than cleaning horse stalls. He became the first member of his family to graduate from college with a degree in Wildlife Sciences. Rhet spent time working on research projects with black bears, California sea lions, black-footed ferrets, and platypus before taking his first guiding job in Grand Teton National Park. That one seasonal guide job changed his career trajectory as he found a deep passion for adventure travel and sharing the natural world with people from across the globe. In the 14 years since getting into the industry, Rhet has worked in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Alaska, and Hawaii. 

Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”